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Three-time gold medalist will defend title

8/16/2004

ATHENS, Greece -- Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel will defend
her Olympic time-trial title Wednesday despite the heavy bruises on
arms hip and neck sustained in a high-speed crash during the
weekend road race.

"In a time trial everything hurts anyway so that won't make
that much of a difference,'' the Sydney Games' triple gold medalist
said.

The Dutchwoman crashed Sunday in the final stages of the road
race, ending her hopes of adding another gold medal in the event.
She also won the time trial and individual pursuit in Sydney four
years ago.

Zijlaard-van Moorsel was racing at high speed with almost 17
miles to go when she looked behind her, touched the bike of the
rider in front of her and went down, dragging three other riders
with her.

"I should not have done that,'' she joked.

It was unclear until
Monday whether she would be fit enough to continue at the Olympics. Zijlaard-van Moorsel spent 45 minutes training Monday and
planned to explore the time trial course along the scenic, jagged
coastline of Vouliagmeni on the outskirts of Athens on Tuesday.